2006-11-03 / Sports

It's Do Or Die Playoff Time For Beach Channel

By Elio Velez

Tall. Physical. Strong. Those are only three words which currently describe the undefeated James Madison Knights. You can also add quick and tenacious to the list of terms as a visiting Beach Channel learned how good the Knights are this season on the field.

The Dolphins chances of gaining a PSAL Bowl spot were seriously hurt as Madison shut down the Dolphins 36-6. The score was indicative of Madison's dominance on both sides of the ball. The defeat puts the Dolphins in a position where they need outside help to make the PSAL Bowl playoffs. With an 3-5 record, they are currently one spot behind in the standings to Thomas Jefferson, who is 4-4 and hold the 24th and final playoff berth.

The PSAL Bowl playoffs consist of teams who finish 17-24 with the season concluding on Sunday. Beach Channel needs to win their game at home against an 0-8 George Washington on Sunday at 11 a.m.

"If we win on Sunday, we would have four wins, which is better than the 1-8 seasons we have had the last two years. It'll be nice to get another game in this season for the team and our 17 seniors," Dolphins head coach Victor Nazario said.

The Dolphins then need help from Samuel Tilden (5-3), who must beat Jefferson later in the day for Beach Channel to leapfrog into the final playoff spot.

Earlier this season, the other peninsula team received a drubbing as Far Rockaway fell 42-0 to the Knights. Madison's offensive gameplan isn't complex. They'll run the ball down opponents' throats and RB Anthony Cox was the perfect example of smashmouth football. Cox scored three touchdowns as Madison chewed up time of possession and overran the Dolphins defensive line.

A Dolphins punt pushed the Knights back to their one yard line in the middle of the third quarter. Cox, got the handoff deep in his end zone and found a wide open hole through the left tackle.With no defender in sight, Cox scrambled down the middle of the field untouched for a 99 yard touchdown and a 28-0 lead. He finished with 332 yards and Madison would cruise to their eighth victory and place fourth overall in the PSAL rankings.

In the first half, the Knights did commit two turnovers but the Dolphins offense could not capitalize. RB Tyrek Mceachin, the productive freshman was held to only 30 yards on 15 carries. QB Benjamin Burrello was victimized for three interceptions, all done by Madison linebacker Luis Martinez.

Homecoming Not Special For Far Rockaway

Homecoming Day usually brings out the pomp and circumstance at Far Rockaway High. No matter how the season has progressed, which has been disappointing for head coach Walter Wilkerson, the Seahorses might have felt buoyant about their chances.

Ominous skies though seemed to ruin the spirit of the crowd but also the Seahorses as the visiting Grand Street Campus registered a 14-0 shutout last Saturday afternoon. Wilkerson knows that the team's faint chances of obtaining a spot in the PSAL Bowl playoffs are gone. The inconsistency that has led his team to a 2-6 record can be spotted in one particular area every week.

This week's woes for the Seahorses could be found on the offense and Grand Street, which improved to 4-4, was sure to benefit. With the Seahorses down 6-0, they were driving successfully down the field and apparent 25 yard screen pass from QB Balkar Singh to WR Ednut Egberongbe would have evened the score at six. Not so fast. An illegal block by RB Davonne Gittens wiped out the touchdown and other opportunities to score would vanish..

"The lack of a running game this week was a deciding factor," Wilkerson said It's hard to put the defense on a short field and expect them to stop the offense all the time."

Their six losses have come to potential city or bowl playoff teams and a seventh, Jamaica High School arrives at FRHS on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. The Seahorses can only play for pride and Wilkerson hopes his seniors, which include three year starters like David Lawson and Shaun Wheeler can end their career on a bright note.

"We're just going to have to play hard, play respectable, play with some pride and conviction," Wilkerson said.

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